For the workshop, we expected 70 caregivers, but nearly 100 African caregivers showed up. They participated in the workshop by listening to the Holding Esther episodes, discussing the learning objectives in small groups, and then engaging in large group dialogue.
According to one of the orphanage directors, “The Holding Esther program has the potential to change orphan care across our country.”
One of the key stories in Holding Esther is about a carpenter who is hired to do some work in the safe house. But, he has more than carpentry in mind. Rather than me telling you more, take about 3 1/2 minutes and listen to this clip:
In the clip caregivers learn to protect the orphans from re-exploitation by potential perpetrators through 6 key steps:
- Establishing policy
- Observing the behavior
- Removing the child
- Confronting the potential perpetrator
- Writing a report
- Dismissing the potential perpetrator
The caregivers in our May workshop were deeply impacted by this clip. Here’s what one of the caregivers reported to me:
There was a man named Daniel (name changed) who used to abuse girls sexually. And upon the children refusing the perpetrator has threaten(ed) the child that she will be killed. Through … the child hearing about the Holding Esther program … she came out and disclosed the issue to the caregiver. Upon the caregiver getting the information, she protect(ed) the child by removing the child from the perpetrator. Upon (the caregiver) seeing the situation, he was chased out of the house to set the child free.
This caregiver credits Holding Esther with rescuing the child from sexual abuse. But he also credits a well-crafted story with saving her life.
This week, I am highlighting the cause of the orphan. Not in a way that brings despair. But in a way that brings hope and invites you to join me in the work I’m doing to bring healing and hope to the world’s most vulnerable children by equipping their caregivers through great stories.
Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Psalm 82:3